Europe and the UK

News items from Europe and the UK

Moped gang jailed for total of 67 years as police say scooter crime has halved since their capture

One of Britain’s most professional moped gangs has been jailed as police say that the scooter crime wave has halved since the 12 men were removed from the streets. The gang, who between them have committed 400 offences, were sentenced for a series of high-profile raids including a "shocking" attempted robbery where they threatened to snatch a three-year-old from his mother. Clad in black with their faces hidden by motorbike helmets, the…

Rural crime: Stolen tractors from Courier country farms being used as ‘international currency’ by brazen gangs

Tractors stolen in Scotland are being used by criminals as international currency, according to leading rural insurer NFU Mutual. Farmers have been warned to ramp up security as demand for agricultural vehicles and machinery is increasing from criminal gangs across the world. Robbie Wallace from NFU Mutual said: “Through NFU Mutual’s work to combat agri-vehicle crime, we know that tractors, telehandlers and quads are currently in…

Massive police action against car theft gang – here’s how they operated

A crime with more than 500 victims robbed of tens of thousands of euros, which led to what has been described as the largest police operation in Belgium in the last 20 years. This week some 1,200 police in locations in Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia swooped on an organised gang suspected of running a fraud ring to trick car owners out of their vehicles. French police also searched seven premises just over the border   The gang is thought…

International auto theft racket wrecked

Polish law enforcement agencies in cooperation with officials from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Germany, recovered vehicles stolen across Europe, worth nearly PLN 2.3 million (EUR 537,050). Overall 51 suspects have been arrested including the alleged gang leader, Polish police states. Their loot includes used expensive cars, trucks, agricultural and construction machinery. The detainees include communication department officials and…

Cars stolen in the UK found at Mombasa port

Seven high-value vehicles suspected to have been stolen from the United Kingdom and shipped to Kenya have been intercepted at Mombasa port.  Falsified importation clearance documents indicate the vehicles valued at Sh500 million were destined to Uganda, but customs officials suspected they were likely to be diverted into the Kenya market. Speaking at the port on Friday British High Commissioner to Kenya Mr Nic Hailey said the seizure was an…

Car theft gang members jailed after sports cars worth £500,000 stolen across Chorley, Blackpool, Blackburn and Bolton

During April and May 2017 there were a series of burglaries in the Chorley area where houses were targeted that had high value, high performance vehicles parked on driveways or in front of the address. The offenders entered the houses during the early hours of the morning usually via unlocked doors and stole the keys and the cars were then driven from the scene. Investigations showed a similar pattern of linked night-time burglaries had…

One in 12 Irish motorists victim of car theft over past five years

Almost one in 12 Irish motorists have had their vehicles damaged as a result of theft or attempted theft within the past five years. A recent AA Car Insurance survey of over 3,000 Irish motorists showed that almost one in 12 stated that damage had been caused to their vehicle as a result of a theft attempt during the last five years. The survey also found that a further 30.59% of motorists had been the victim of attempted car theft at some…

UK: Car crime rises again with 113,000 vehicles stolen last year

The number of cars stolen in the UK increased by nine per cent in 2018 compared to the previous year, with a total of 113,037 offences of “theft or unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle” logged by police. That means roughly one vehicle was reported stolen every five minutes last year. Motoring experts called the nine per cent increase “very worrying”, and reiterated concerns over the ease with which crooks can steal…

ABI Proposes Reforms To Salvage System to Prevent Write-Off Fraud & Theft

Six loopholes in the salvage system which need to be addressed are being set out by the ABI’s Director of General Insurance Policy, James Dalton, at a speech to the salvage trade body today. The Salvage Code of Practice – a voluntary agreement on how written-off vehicles should be processed and categorised – has been blamed by some for creating a market for stolen cars. West Midlands police have identified an issue with…

Drivers warned that signal-blocking key pouches ‘may not always work’

The devices, sometimes called Faraday pouches, have become popular to combat so-called relay theft – where thieves boost the signal from a car’s keyless entry fob to get into the vehicle without the key. The pouches contain a wire mesh, known as a Faraday cage, that can block radio signals from the keyless entry system. However, some thefts have been carried out when the keys were in the pouches. On cheaper items, it’s…